Billy was taking a stroll down the street when he saw his neighbor, Mr. Wang, struck by lightning. It really came out of nowhere – since it was a sunny forty-degree day and cloudless and why was he walking outside anyway when it’s so hot – so Billy was shocked, though not as shocked as Mr. Wang, who was on the ground and smoking from his ears.
Billy, still recovering from having witnessed such a tragedy, looked about. No one else was out; the houses all seemed empty. It felt as though he should be doing something about this situation, since Mr. Wang was clearly not getting up. Being a responsible citizen, Billy called for an ambulance.
Unfortunately, just as he hung up, Mr. Wang got up. He was completely unhurt even though he was misleadingly smoking from the ears a moment ago, but that just turned out to be a cigarette snuffed in the grass. Embarrassed, Billy told Mr. Wang that he had called an ambulance.
Mr. Wang became agitated, as he did not have ambulance insurance and this singular call out was going to cost 750 bucks. He began raving at Billy for being an idiot and told him that, since he was the one who made the call and left his name, Billy should foot the bill.
Billy was very embarrassed. Who knew Mr. Wang was going to be completely fine after getting hit by lightning; now he was stuck with paying out of his own pocket for a useless ambulance. Fortunately, Mr. Wang did not know which house he lived in, so Billy decided to make a mad dash for the next street over before Mr. Wang could wrangle the money out of him.
As he ran, Billy made a deal with himself: he’s not going to be so stupid next time and embarrass himself by sticking out his neck. And the whole thing was the lightning’s fault to start with – where did it even come from, how did it even get there, and why did it look so intimidating when it didn’t really do anything except making a fool out of him. Billy decided that all lightnings are bad and should be kicked out of the country and go back to where they came from.
When he turned a corner, he saw a bunch of aliens coming out of an UFO and walking into Mrs. Tate’s house with what looked like really long antenna rods. Suspicious looking bunch they were, what with the banner on the UFO (written conveniently in English) declaring EXTERMINATE ALL HUMANS, and loud screams were coming from the house.
Billy felt as if he should do something about it, since Mrs. Tate was clearly in trouble. Then he remembered Mr. Wang. He was already stuck with a 750-dollar bill the last time he tried to be helpful, and that could have been like twelve chicken schnitzels, so this time he decided to be extra careful as to avoid any embarrassments and financial detriments to himself.
Then it came to him – a way to both express his concern yet not actually do anything in case something he did came back to bite him. As he walked pasted Mrs. Tate’s house and the UFO, he gave them some Thoughts and Prayers, to let Mrs. Tate know that he, Billy, really really cared, and to send a firm message to the aliens that what they were doing was really really wrong.
As Billy turned another corner, he did not look on both sides of the street and was hit by the ambulance that was hurrying toward Mr. Wang’s house. Fortunately, the paramedics were unhurt and were prepared to treat him on the spot. With his dying-but-not-really breath, Billy informed them that Mr. Wang was OK, that the lightning didn’t do anything, so the ambulance could just go back to the depot without charging him for the callout.
The paramedics could not refuse the wish of a dying-but-not-really man, so they told Billy that alright, the fee will be waived. Billy was briefly very happy, until they told him that to treat his injuries the ambulance will have to carry him to a hospital, and that would cost 750 bucks.
Billy became very angry. Stupid ambulance, he thought to himself, if they didn’t exist they wouldn’t have ran him over and he wouldn’t have had to worry about paying the callout fee in the first place. He decided that ambulances were all bad and that they should be kicked out of the country and go back to where they came from.
But when he told the paramedics to leave him alone, they refused, since it was literally their job to help him. Angry, Billy told them that yeah, you can help me, but I’m not paying for anything ever. So the paramedics had to think long and hard about what to do. Then they came to a solution.
They left Billy with some Thoughts and Prayers and drove off. Billy, lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the road, felt really good about himself, for he has just saved a bunch of money and no one has made a fool out of him.